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Uganda approves new coffee law.

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Uganda governing Cabinet has approved a new coffee law, which is expected to streamline mushrooming institutions and players in the sub-sector that contributes sh158b to the economy every month.

According to Col Shaban Bantariza, the deputy government spokesperson, the proposed new law will also repeal the existing legal framework that establishes the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).

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“The National Coffee Bill intends to facilitate the development of a competitive, equitable and sustainable Coffee Industry by promoting Coffee research, good Coffee farming practices, domestic consumption of Coffee and adding value to Coffee,” Bantariza said on Tuesday morning.

Bantariza, who was speaking at the Uganda Media Centre, said during a Cabinet meeting on Monday, ministers also proposed the introduction of a coffee auction system, to ease trade in the sub-sector.

“The Bill will also provide for an authority to regulate all on-farm and off-farm activities in the coffee value chain,” he added.

The Government target on coffee production is to export 20 million bags by 2020.

Official figures from UDCA indicate that Uganda currently exports 401,930 bags to the international market annually.

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Somalia, Ethiopia to jointly invest in seaports

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Somalia and Ethiopia announced they were jointly investing in four seaports to attract foreign investment to their two countries, the latest move in a tussle for access to ports along one of the world’s most strategic waterways.

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After Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo hosted Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed for a meeting at the presidential palace in Mogadishu, the two leaders issued a joint statement of pledges to cooperate on everything from the development of infrastructure including roads linking the two countries to expanding visa services to promote cultural exchanges. 

The statement did not elaborate on which ports the two countries would develop.

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Ethiopian Government states reason for airline privatisation.

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Ethiopia’s government has explained that privatisation of the national airline and state telecommunications company is being done to ease the shortage of foreign currency.

Ethiopia announced last week plans to open its state-run telecoms monopoly and state-owned Ethiopian Airlines to private domestic and foreign investment.



In an exclusive interview with state broadcaster, Fana BC, Dr. Yinager Desie, Commissioner of the Ethiopian National Planning Commission said lower export performance, failure of mega projects to commence production, high demand for imported goods and growing external debt burden have worsened the shortage of foreign currency.

Ethiopia requires more than $13 billion over the coming two years for oil importation, private investment, upgrading of existing projects and for repayment of external debt.

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South African telecommunications firms MTN Group and Vodacom Group have already expressed interest in taking up investment options in Ethiopia’s telecom sector as soon as it opens up.

Desie says the privatised enterprises would generate large amount of foreign currencies to tackle shortage.

The commission will therefore give priority to foreign companies in privatising the enterprises as government’s decision is targeted obtaining foreign currency.

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Senegal promotes African female entrepreneurs.

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Africa has the highest number of women entrepreneurs but they face more hurdles on the way to business success than their male counterparts.

Maty Ndiaye a Senegalese businesswoman founded Kaya, a shop in Dakar selling clothes, toys and products for children.

But the business stalled when she needed funding to grow and Ndiaye was forced to shut down her store due to lack of capital.

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Like many entrepreneurs on the continent, access to resources and opportunities are limited, and even more so for women.

“I wanted to borrow 5 million with a micro financing body and they asked me to bring the 5 million, to put it in an account as a guarantee and afterwards they would lend me 5 million. I found that outrageous. So it’s really hard when we want to develop our business and we need money to inject in the business, it’s really hard to get access to that type of financing,” she said.

However, a new networking initiative founded by French businesswoman, Aude De Thui is determined to change that.

Women In Africa (WIA) is an organisation that aims to support and fund businesses led or managed by African women.

The group recently held its first regional Summit in Dakar, bringing together over 180 women entrepreneurs from 15 different countries.

WIA recently held a Women’s Forum in Senegal, with specific focus on the challenges and solutions faced by African female entrepreneurs like Ndiaye.

“Women suffer today because they don’t get enough support, enough guardiance and they don’t have access to financing. And women forums are often about well-being or personal themes.

I participate in economic summits because I want to put women back in the economy and give them a voice because they inspire trust and also because the world needs to focus on Africa,” De Thui said.

Speakers and experts were also on hand to give master classes and share their business experiences, as well as putting women in touch with investors and helping them pitch their ideas.

“By participating in this forum it has allowed me to believe in myself more but in particular to believe in the woman that I can become, like these women leaders that I have met and with whom I took a lot of pleasure talking to and exchanging with,” said 17-year-old Fatou Khouleh Wade, who dreams of being a railroad engineer.

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